With the draft just a week away, it's not surprising that the Rick Nash trade watch is heating up on an almost hourly basis. As many as 10 teams may be involved in the hunt for the star winger, and it's expected that Scott Howson is going to want a massive return.
So the news that Howson might also consider trading out of the #2 pick is, on the surface, a bit surprising.
If you're loading up (hopefully) with the Nash deal, wouldn't it make sense to keep such a high value pick? The team can certainly use what it would bring, right?
Yes and no.
While the pick would be quite valuable, and there a number of players that fans think would make good additions to the team's prospect pool, none of them seem to be a 100% sure thing (unless Nail Yakupov should fall to the #2 slot, and then it's a whole different ballgame).
There's also the point that Columbus needs help now - and while making sure there will be talent for the future is a good thing, almost none of the potential #2 picks are likely to be slotted into the lineup on opening day.
Howson has said he will look at every possible option to make this club better. Why take a potential tool out of his hand?
If a team should offer an attractive player for an area of immediate need (ie: GOALTENDING), and the #2 pick was the price, it might well be worth the deal, especially if a lower first round pick came along with the deal, why not consider it? I doubt he would trade down simply to move down to wait for a player to fall to him, as he did with John Moore, simply because the stakes of a top two pick are so much higher.
All things considered, I would still expect Howson to make a pick next Friday night, but there's every reason to keep the possibility out there. You never know what might come up on the draft floor.